Memorials of the Faithful
Áqá Mirzá Mahmúd and Áqá Ridá
These two blessed souls,
Mirzá Mahmúd of Káshán
and Áqá Ridá of Shíráz, were like two lamps lit with God's
love from the oil of His knowledge. Encompassed by Divine
bestowals from childhood on, they succeeded in rendering
every kind of service for fifty-five years. Their services
were countless, beyond recording.
When the retinue of Bahá'u'lláh left Baghdád for Constantinople,
He was accompanied by a great crowd of people.
Along the way, they met with famine conditions.
These two souls strode along on foot, ahead of the howdah
in which Bahá'u'lláh was riding, and covered a distance
of seven or eight &farsakhs every day. Wayworn and faint,
they would reach the halting-place; and yet, weary as they
were, they would immediately set about preparing and
cooking the food, and seeing to the comfort of the believers.
The efforts they made were truly more than flesh can
bear. There were times when they had not more than two
or three hours sleep out of the twenty-four; because, once
the friends had eaten their meal, these two would be busy
collecting and washing up the dishes and cooking utensils;
this would take them till midnight, and only then
would they rest. At daybreak they would rise, pack everything,
and set out again, in front of the howdah of Bahá'u'lláh.
See what a vital service they were able to render, and for what bounty they were singled out: from the start of the journey, at Baghdád, to the arrival in Constantinople,
they walked close beside Bahá'u'lláh; they made every one
of the friends happy; they brought rest and comfort to all;
they prepared whatever anyone asked.
Áqá Ridá and Mirzá Mahmúd were the very essence of
God's love, utterly detached from all but God. In all that
time no one ever heard either of them raise his voice. They
never hurt nor offended anyone. They were trustworthy,
loyal, true. Bahá'u'lláh showered blessings upon them.
They were continually entering His presence and He
would be expressing His satisfaction with them.
Mirzá Mahmúd was a youth when he arrived in Baghdád
from Káshán. Áqá Ridá became a believer in Baghdád.
The spiritual condition of the two was indescribable.
There was in Baghdád a company of seven leading believers
who lived in a single, small room, because they were
destitute. They could hardly keep body and soul together,
but they were so spiritual, so blissful, that they thought
themselves in Heaven. Sometimes they would chant prayers
all night long, until the day broke. Days, they would
go out to work, and by nightfall one would have earned
ten paras, another perhaps twenty paras, others forty or
fifty. These sums would be spent for the evening meal. On
a certain day one of them made twenty paras, while the
rest had nothing at all. The one with the money bought
some dates, and shared them with the others; that was
dinner, for seven people. They were perfectly content
with their frugal life, supremely happy.
These two honored men devoted their days to all that
is best in human life: they had seeing eyes; they were
mindful and aware; they had hearing ears, and were fair
of speech. Their sole desire was to please Bahá'u'lláh. To
them, nothing was a bounty at all, except service at His
Holy Threshold. After the time of the Supreme Affliction, they were consumed with sorrow, like candles flickering away; they longed for death, and stayed firm in the
Covenant and labored hard and well to spread that Daystar's
Faith. They were close and trusted companions of
`Abdu'l-Baha, and could be relied on in all things. They
were always lowly, humble, unassuming, evanescent. In all
that long period, they never uttered a word which had to
do with self.
And at the last, during the absence of `Abdu'l-Baha, they
took their flight to the Kingdom of unfading glory. I sorrowed
much because I was not with them when they
died. Although absent in body, I was there in my heart,
and mourning over them; but to outward seeming I did not
bid them good-by; this is why I grieve.
Unto them both be salutations and praise; upon them
be compassion and glory. May God give them a home in
Paradise, under the Lote-Tree's shade. May they be immersed
in tiers of light, close beside their Lord, the
Mighty, the All-Powerful.
Memorials of the Faithful
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